The activists uses the same leaderless-resistance model as the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), which consists of small, autonomous, covert cells acting independently. A cell may consist of just one person.
Their cause seems to be to inflict property damage, presumably arson, but not injure individuals, and is a reason why they have been accused of being members or supporters of the ALF.
The group became known after the first arson in Oxford which caused an estimated £500,000 worth of damage on 4 July 2005. . In response to this attack, with the insurance premiums set to rise for the business, Longbridge's boathouse were given corporate sponsorship and donations.
The fire caused 26 boats in total to become unusable which were part of St Hilda’s, St Catherine’s, Hertford, Mansfield and St Benet’s Hall boats and boat clubs. Upon investigation the cause of the fire was attributed to incendiary devices which had been placed in the Eight's bays. The group stated that they targeted the boathouse because of their apparent ties to Oxford University, and their use primates in experiments. The group in a posting to Bite Back said,
From here on nothing you own, rent or have dealings with is off limits until the project is scrapped, To warn builders and suppliers that they are going to get some, even if their involvement comes to light years later we will not let you offf the hook!
Ed Mayne, spokesman for Oxford University replied,
We are appalled by the contents of a statement concerning the fire in an Oxford College boathouse. The intimidating nature of this message is totally unacceptable.
This latest action is part of an ongoing fight against the University of Oxford and its continued reign of terror over the unseen victims inside its animal labs.
ALF volunteers gained access to the roof of the building and after removing a section of roof tiling placed an incendiary device containing 12 litres of fuel inside. Attacks will escalate in the face of an institution and government which have sought to destroy legal protest and continue to sanction violence to animals
Similar attacks occurred nearly a year later in November 2007, when the ALF alleged vehicles belonging to a researcher of the Department of Experimental Psychology at Oxford University were firebombed as well as a director of Acorn Integrated systems sports car, who the group accused of aiding the construction of the laboratory. The group said in a message to Bite Back: "There will be more. For Barry and Felix.".